Honduran delegation in Rome: Follow-up to the Honduras-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement ratification


Honduran Minister-Director convenes with FAO leaders to define next steps for the implementation of the recently signed Voluntary Partnership Agreement

On 27 September 2021, the delegation of the Minister-Director of the National Institute of Forest Conservation and Development, Protected Areas and Wildlife (ICF) of the Republic of Honduras met with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) senior officials and technical experts for a two-day meeting on the execution of the Honduras-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). The VPA was signed on 23 February 2021 and ratified in June of the same year.

Being the first country in Latin America to sign a VPA with the EU, Honduras has made significant commitments to sustainable forest management. The FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme has been a key partner in Honduras’ path towards timber legality and sustainability by providing technical and financial support in the process of implementing the VPA and financing 52 local projects for an approximate value of USD 2.8 million. The initiatives focused on the development of the country’s Timber Legality Assurance System, livelihoods and land tenure, support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and legality across the timber value chain.

To further progress on shared EU-Honduras objectives, the Honduran delegation presented planned priority actions for the forest sector and climate change to FAO representatives in Brussels and Rome. His Excellency Mario Martínez, Minister of ICF, addressed the National Strategy with REDD+, highlighting the need to strengthen the national Information System for Forest Management and Monitoring (SIGMOF). Minister Martínez also underscored the utilization of small grants in the Protected Areas strategy as a model for economic development as well as the role and importance of municipal governments, local communities and indigenous peoples in forest governance. In addition, representatives from the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme, REDD+ and the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) had the opportunity to discuss priority actions and opportunities for partnerships with the country. The technical experts highlighted a special interest in projects related to land tenure and capacity building for local actors, prioritizing indigenous peoples, for facilitated access to global timber markets. 

Throughout the exchange, Ms Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources and Sustainable Production, reinforced that FAO recognizes the importance of the Republic of Honduras as a FAO member state with extensive natural tropical forest cover and strong indigenous peoples groups. FAO leaders emphasized that it is essential that Honduras and FAO continue to work together towards a shared voice and joint messages to be echoed in agri-food global arenas, such as the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

For more information

FAO-EU FLEGT Programme

FAO in Honduras

Honduras y la Unión Europea firman Acuerdo Voluntario de Asociación

EU Press Release -  EU and Honduras sign agreement to reduce illegal timber logging

Honduras ratifies the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union